High-quality schools have common qualities and characteristics that have little to do with location, demographics (race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, age/grade levels of students), or a school’s wealth or resources. Studies have shown that high-performing schools have nine characteristics in common.
Characteristics of High-Performing Schools
1. They have a clear and shared focus on teaching and learning.
2. They have high standards and expectations for all students.
3. They have effective school leadership.
4. There are high levels of collaboration and communication.
5. Curriculum, instruction and assessments are aligned with standards set by the state for public schools or by state-recognized accrediting agencies for nonpublic schools.
6. There is frequent monitoring of teaching and learning.
7. There is ongoing and focused professional development.
8. There is a supportive learning environment for students.
9. There are high levels of family and community engagement.
Students in Minnesota have school choice options by law. These options include open enrollment, charter schools, and approved public online schools. Many districts also offer unique program options such as magnets, gifted and talented, targeted services, alternative learning, English Learner (EL), special education, and online or blended learning.
In addition, postsecondary preparation programs such as Advanced Placement (AP), College in the Schools (CIS), International Baccalaureate (IB), Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Jobs for Minnesota Graduates (JAG), may be available. Just below 10 percent of Minnesota students attend nonpublic schools, including regular private schools that are both parochial and nonsectarian, and homeschools.
Note: Schools and districts will benefit most if they begin with Module 1. This first module is designed to help you develop systems and strategies to improve family engagement efforts and build community partnerships. Get started on your own framework using the PowerPoint and the Family Engagement Framework Guidance found on the Module 1 page.
Learn about school choice in Minnesota.
This page contains links to high-quality research articles on school choice.